February 26, 2021
Member/Center Highlights
Gmail users: to ensure you're always viewing the entire newsletter, check at the bottom of the email to see if the newsletter has been "clipped" and click "view entire message" if so.
Thank you and best wishes to Marcos de Lima
We thank Marcos de Lima, MD as he is headed off to The Ohio State University. He has had a very large impact as a program leader for our Hematopoietic and Immune Cell Biology Program and head of the Hematological Malignancies Division of UH Seidman Cancer Center. He helped promote cell and immune cell therapy, introduced CAR-T cell therapy grown in and delivered from the Centers’ National Center for Regenerative Medicine Cell Production Facility and mentored many fellows and junior faculty. He has been a strong proponent of high-quality care and exactness in transplant cancer patient management.

Dr. de Lima has been with our cancer center since 2013 and has worked as program leader alongside Drs. Jarek Maciejewski and Alex Huang. His expertise in bone marrow transplant and pursuit of novel approaches and better treatments for patients made him an excellent resource for that program. Besides his professional expertise, we know Dr. deLima will continue displaying his smile at all times, his positive attitude, leadership and support of his colleagues and trainees. We wish him well and expect to keep active collaborations across the state.
New method of counting tumor cells offers possibility of a “liquid biopsy”
From Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute: In a new study published in the Journal of Chromatography A, Cleveland Clinic researchers, led by Aaron Fleischman, PhD and Maciej Zborowski, PhD, reveal findings from a new device they've developed to identify and perform differential counts of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in the blood of patients with carcinomas which may indicate the risk of their cancer metastasizing.

Currently, clinicians are limited in diagnoses and treatment by existing methods of assessing this risk through CTC detection. The team's new method may be more accurate than existing methods and help clinicians better assess the risk of cancer metastasis.

“We have refined the cell separators by innovative engineering of the gradated magnetic field and matching microfluidics for magnetic, graduated CTC separation, according to the level of their epithelial cell adhesion molecule marker expression,” said Dr. Zborowski, a member of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center's Developmental Therapeutics Program. “This represents their metastatic potential better than a simple yes-or-no answer possible with the current magnetic cell separation methods.”
Ting, collaborators at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center awarded $1M grant from W.M. Keck Foundation to study host-microbe epigenetic crosstalk
Please join us in congratulating Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute's Angela Ting, PhD as she is co-leading a team of investigators at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Cleveland Clinic who were recently awarded $1 million in medical research grant funding from the W.M. Keck Foundation. Dr. Ting is a member of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center's GU Malignancies Program.

The team will use colorectal cancer as a model to determine if there is clear in vivo evidence of microbial restriction-modification enzymes interacting with human DNA and, if so, experimentally delineate the underlying molecular mechanism of such host-microbiota interactions.
Recommended Reading: Massively Parallel Sequencing of Esophageal Brushings Enables an Aneuploidy-Based Classification of Patients with Barrett’s Esophagus
A collaboration between Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) and Johns Hopkins University assessed whether a single esophageal brushing that widely sampled the esophagus could be combined with massively parallel sequencing to characterize aneuploidy and identify patients with disease progression to dysplasia or cancer. The team's findings were recently published in Gastroenterology.

"The technique is exciting because it gives us a molecular method for identifying which patients with Barrett's esophagus are at risk of progressing to cancer and which are not," said Amitabh Chak, MD, who was joined by fellow cancer center members and co-corresponding authors Sanford Markowitz, MD, PhD and Joseph Willis, MD (faculty of the Case GI SPORE and University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center) along with collaborators from CWRU, the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins University, Center for Esophageal Diseases and Swallowing, Cleveland Clinic and Washington University in St. Louis.
Federal grant writing workshop to be held weekly this summer, submit application for participation by March 15
The Case Comprehensive Cancer Center invites applications to participate in a summer-long, weekly federal grant writing workshop. The longitudinal workshop will occur Wednesday afternoons from 3:00 to 4:30 pm, beginning April 28, 2021 and ending August 4, 2021 (note: the first two sessions on April 28 and May 5 will be 3:00-5:00 pm).

The program will be capped at 10 individuals, necessitating a competitive application process. The review committee will prioritize Early Career Faculty but will consider applications from more Senior Faculty. The program will focus on writing a successful grant application for cancer-related NIH R01 grants. Those accepted to the program will be notified in early April 2021. The deadline for submissions is Monday, March 15, 2021.
What's Coming Up
Mark Your Calendar
Cancer Center Seminar Series
TODAY, February 26, 2021, 12p via Zoom
Today's Cancer Center Seminar features Michele Cote, PhD, MPH presenting, "Beyond Obesity: The Increasing Incidence and Epidemiology of High Grade Endometrial Cancers" on behalf of the Cancer Prevention, Control & Population Research Program at noon via Zoom.

Dr. Cote is a professor in the department of oncology at Wayne State University School of Medicine and Associate Center Director for Cancer Research Career Enhancement at Karmanos Cancer Institute.

The focus of Dr. Cote's research is the intersection of molecular epidemiology and health disparities. Specifically, she is interested in examining genetic and molecular factors in lung and female cancers that impact disease occurrence or prognosis in underserved populations.
Cancer Center Seminar Series
Friday, March 5, 2021, 12p via Live Stream
Next week's Cancer Center Seminar will stream live from the 5th Annual Cancer Disparities Symposium and features internationally-recognized expert in cancer prevention and control, Otis W. Brawley, MD.

Brawley’s research focuses on developing cancer screening strategies and ensuring their effectiveness. He has championed efforts to decrease smoking and implement other lifestyle risk reduction programs, as well as to provide critical support to cancer patients and concentrate cancer control efforts in areas where they could be most effective. Brawley currently leads a broad interdisciplinary research effort on cancer health disparities at the Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, striving to close racial, economic, and social disparities in the prevention, detection, and treatment of cancer in the United States and worldwide. He also directs community outreach programs for underserved populations throughout Maryland.
Secure your access today: 5th Annual Cancer Disparities Symposium (Virtual)
March 4-5, 2021

Next week, The Case Comprehensive Cancer Center Office of Community Outreach and Engagement will present the 5th Annual Cancer Disparities Symposium, Navigating Cancer Disparities: Lessons Learned and How to Move Forward.
About the Symposium
This multi-disciplinary event will appeal to researchers, clinicians, health professionals, community outreach groups, community-based organizations, patient advocates and trainees. Keynote presentations will be delivered by renowned disparities researchers and community leaders, and a poster session highlighting academic research and community programs will provide a showcase of the depth and breadth of work happening in this field.

Though the symposium is happening virtually, attendees will experience the conference using Whova, our official web-based conference app, to view presentations and ask questions in real-time, as well as network with others behind the scenes.

Session topics include:

  • COVID-19 and cancer disparities
  • Improving the participation of minority and underserved populations in cancer clinical trials
  • Interplay of biology and social determinants of cancer disparities
  • The many pains of cancer: physical, emotional and financial

Plus, attendees will have the opportunity to participate in an in-depth discussion of the book Just Medicine: A Cure for Racial Inequality in American Health Care by Dayna Bowen Matthew.

The symposium agenda is updated and available online.
Keynote Speakers
Otis W. Brawley, MD, an internationally-recognized expert in cancer prevention and control, will present the symposium's Scientific. After 20+ years as Chief Medical Officer at the American Cancer Society, he leads a broad interdisciplinary research effort on cancer health disparities at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Kimmel Cancer Center.

Worta McCaskill-Stevens, MD, will deliver the community keynote, sharing her expertise in bringing clinical trials to the community. McCaskill-Stevens is Chief of the Community Oncology and Prevention Trials Research Group, which houses the NCI Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP), a community-based clinical trials network launched in 2014. McCaskill-Stevens has been recognized for her leadership, including her role in furthering the advancement of minority investigators in cancer research.
Additional Upcoming Events
Management of Checkpoint Inhibitor-Related Toxicity Virtual Updates
March 5, 2021
The goal of the program is to bring together a multidisciplinary group of clinicians to share expertise and improve the care of patients receiving immune checkpoint inhibitor therapies.

Specialists in dermatology, endocrinology, gastroenterology, oncology, internal medicine, rheumatology/ immunology, nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and residents/ fellows are invited to attend.
4th Annual International PTEN Symposium
Monday, March 15, 2021
The Genomic Medicine Institute and Center for Personalized Genetic Healthcare at Cleveland Clinic invite you to join the virtual 4th Annual International PTEN Symposium: From Patient-Centered Research to Clinical Care. They are planning an engaging day with an emphasis on advances in the diagnosis, management and treatment of patients with PTEN Hamartoma Tumor Syndrome (PHTS).

Pier Paolo Pandolfi, MD, PhD, FRCP, senior scientist at the Renown Institute for Cancer and honorary professor of molecular biology at the University of Turin, will deliver the morning keynote address. Neil Friedman, MBChB, pediatric neurologist and director of quality, outcomes, and innovation at Barrow Neurological Institute at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, will deliver the afternoon keynote address on the neurological spectrum of PHTS. Other topics include hormone use and high-risk patients, gynecological cancer risks, updates on PTEN clinical trials, and autism. Please refer to the symposium agenda for more details about this year’s speakers and topics.
NCCN Virtual Annual Conference
March 18-20, 2021
In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) has transitioned the NCCN 2021 Annual Conference to a to a live virtual format.

Designed to meet the needs and improve the competence and performance of the interprofessional oncology care team, including physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, physician assistants, pharmacists, and other relevant health care professionals who manage the care of patients with cancer, this three-day virtual event will offer more than 35 educational sessions covering a range of topics such as:

  • Updates to NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) 
  • New and emerging therapies, controversies in treatment, and best practices in the delivery of oncology care  
  • Issues surrounding HPV vaccination  
  • Racial disparities in guideline-adherent cancer care  
  • Effects of the pandemic on cancer care  
  • Best practices for incorporating patient-reported outcomes into oncology care

Throughout this three-day virtual event, educational sessions will include a mix of challenging case reviews, interactive polling, and moderated Q&A providing participants the opportunity to reinforce knowledge and develop strategies for the management of a variety of cancers.
AACR Annual Meeting 2021
April 10-15 and May 17-21, 2021 | Virtual
The AACR Annual Meeting program covers the latest discoveries across the spectrum of cancer research—from population science and prevention; to cancer biology, translational, and clinical studies; to survivorship and advocacy—and highlights the work of the best minds in research and medicine from institutions all over the world.
Cell-Based Therapies and Tissue Engineering Short Course
May 19-20, 2021

The Skeletal Research Center and the Department of Biology of Case Western Reserve University are pleased to present the twentieth annual short course entitled: “Cell-Based Therapies and Tissue Engineering”, running from May 19 through May 20, 2021.

Registration is now open. The 2021 program is here. To download a flyer, please click here.

Who Should Attend:
This course is intended for graduate students, post-graduate students and health science professionals who are interested in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine approaches with emphasis on translational research principles and protocols used or being modeled for direct clinical use.
AACI Clinical Research Innovation 13th Annual Meeting
July 13-15, 2021
Save the date! The 13th Annual AACI Clinical Research Innovation (CRI) Meeting will be held July 13-15, 2021. Information about the meeting format, abstract submissions, and registration will be made available in early 2021.
VeloSano logo
VeloSano 8 Bike to Cure Weekend
July 16-18, 2021

We are looking ahead with optimism to VeloSano 8 (2021), with a goal of providing opportunities to reunite our VeloSano community in a variety of safe and meaningful ways!

VeloSano's hope is to offer options for anyone to participate in any way they are most comfortable - whether riding with us during "Bike to Cure" weekend July 16-18; riding virtually, or by choosing your own activity to participate anytime, anywhere as a Virtual Fundraiser.
Funding Opportunities
Available award: Up to $40,000
LOI Deadline: March 26, 2021
Full Application Deadline: April 23, 2021
Available award: $75,000 for one year
LOI Deadline: April 2, 2021
Full Invited Application Deadline: April 16, 2021
Available award: Up to $120,000 for one year
Deadline: April 16, 2021
Available award: $75,000 for 18 months
Deadline: April 16, 2021
Available award: $180,000 for 18 months
Deadline: April 16, 2021
Available award: $25,000 for one year
Applications accepted and awarded on a rolling basis
ACS logo
Deadline: April 1, 2021

The American Cancer Society has issued a request for research on the role of health policy and health insurance in improving access to and the performance of cancer prevention, early detection, and treatment services. Proposals will be accepted for research projects focused on changes in national, state, and/or local policy and the response to those changes by healthcare systems, insurers, payers, communities, practices, and patients.

Awards will not exceed $200,000 a year (direct costs) for up to five years.
Deadline: 5 pm ET, May 3, 2021

National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) is pleased to announce a collaboration with AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals (AstraZeneca) to offer a new funding opportunity for NCCN Member Institution faculty. This opportunity is seeking proposals to improve patient care and outcomes in early-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Multiple factors contribute to the complexity of treating the disease, including screening, staging, surgical or other local treatment options, and adjuvant systemic therapy.

Please direct questions regarding this RFP to Nicole Kamienski at kamienski@nccn.org with the subject line, “2021 NSCLC Project.”
In The News
Smithsonian Magazine - February 12, 2021
"We think that social-economic and behavioral factors may have played important roles here," says Rong Xu, PhD, biomedical informatics expert at Case Western Reserve University and lead author on the study. Dr. Xu is a member of the Case CCC.
Elemental - February 17, 2021
Mark Cameron, PhD, associate professor at the School of Medicine and a member of the Case CCC, weighed in on the potential for COVID-19 to persist, especially seasonally, if certain herd immunity thresholds are not met.
From The NIH
Weekly NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices
COVID-19 Funding Opportunities and Notices
Have something to share?
Use the button below to submit all your news, publications, events, announcements, lab openings and communications requests to the Case CCC Marketing and Communications team! We are here to help.